BMW shares are trading higher Friday, as the German carmaker is discussing plans to produce electric Minis in China, in a joint venture with China’s Great Wall Motor Co. BMW issued a press release stating the two firms were in advanced talks on the deal.
By 1220 BST, BMW shares were trading 0.76% higher at €87.88. BMW shares have been moving a little lower in recent months, in line with the broader market tone.
BMW’s electric car plans
The popular German car maker said it plans to improve the appeal of the MINI brand with a new, electric version of the little vehicle, produced locally in China.
“A key element of the brand’s continued strategic development will be local production of future battery-electric MINI vehicles in the world’s largest market for electromobility,” BMW said. “To this end, the BMW Group has signed a “letter of intent” with the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor.”
While further details still need to be clarified between the two businesses, the car maker said it had no plans to set up additional sales organisations in China.
Talks to manufacture an electric MINI in China follows news the German car firm will begin production of a battery, electric powered MINI at its main plant in Oxfordshire, in 2019.
“This signals a further clear commitment to the electrified future of the MINI brand,” BMW said.
Expansion of Chinese manufacturing venture
In addition to the joint venture with Great Wall Motor, BMW also said it would expand its existing agreement with Chinese auto manufacturer, Brilliance.
This expansion is independent of the electrified MINI agreement.
The BMW Brilliance Automotive JV currently runs two car production plants and an engine plant, which already includes a battery factory for existing electrified BMW models.
The German car maker said China is the fourth largest market for its MINI brand, after it delivered some 35,000 units of the vehicle to China in 2017.